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Red Cross & Alexa Team Up to Offer Assistance

April 17, 2019, 12:07 PM HST (Updated April 17, 2019, 12:07 PM)
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To make it easier for people to get critical safety information and access its services, the American Red Cross is expanding its reach with voice technology through Alexa, Amazon’s voice service.

Screen shot from Red Cross.

By using Alexa-enabled devices, people can enable skills for Alexa to get valuable first aid information, or receive notifications about an approaching hurricane. This is in addition to the currently existing ability for Alexa users to make financial donations to the Red Cross.

“Helping keep people safe are among our top priorities and we are constantly looking to make it easier to share this lifesaving information,” said Coralie Chun Matayoshi, CEO of the Hawai‘i Red Cross. “Now, we’re using innovation and voice technology to reach a broader group of Americans with these new skills for Alexa.”

How it works

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The Red Cross First Aid skill gives users valuable advice and tips to prepare for many emergency situations they might face. People can also test their first aid knowledge and play the first aid quiz for many of the topics covered by this skill. First Aid learners can open the Red Cross First Aid skill and ask, for example, “Alexa, what are the signs of a heart attack?”

The Red Cross Hurricane Alerts skill helps those who live in hurricane prone areas, or who have loved ones who do, receive notifications when a hurricane watch or warning is issued for locations important to the user, along with vital steps on how to prepare. Hurricane alerts can be set up for U.S. locations and territories of interest via the Hurricane Alert skill by asking “Alexa, open Hurricane Alerts.”

All of the Red Cross skills are available to anyone with an Alexa-enabled device such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Show or Echo Spot, providing a convenient, voice-enabled experience. The skills can be enabled in the Alexa Skills Store through the Alexa app or Amazon.com.

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For more on the American Red Cross skills for Alexa, go online.

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